Responsible for one of the most memorable moments in Arkansas basketball history, Scotty Thurman completed his ninth year with the program and third as an assistant coach in 2018-19.
No stranger to Arkansas basketball, Thurman provided his signature moment in the final minute of the 1994 NCAA championship game when his three-pointer with 53 seconds remaining secured a 76-72 win over Duke.
Thurman returned to the Razorbacks in 2010-11 after successful professional and business careers to assist student-athletes associated with the men’s basketball program with character, personal and career development. Also, he was charged with bridging the gap between Arkansas’ current and former players.
After his tenure as the director of student-athlete development and two seasons as a radio analyst on the Razorback Sports Network, Thurman was elevated to an assistant coach role on May 11, 2016. As a member of the coaching staff, Thurman assists with recruiting, scouting reports, player development and skill instruction. Thurman has done his part to put the Razorbacks on the national map. Arkansas has made three straight postseason appearances, including two in the NCAA (2017 and 2018) and one in the NIT (2019), and the Razorback guards have been among the SEC and NCAA best.
During his six years as director of student-athlete development, Thurman assisted with academics, was a member of the Razorback Foundation’s External Operations Team, participated in the Athletic Director’s Diversity Council and served on the Never Yield steering committee. He was responsible for coordinating and developing programs that enhance personal and career development, along with participating in various community service efforts.
This past season (2018-19), Razorback guard Isaiah Joe had a record-setting campaign while being named to the SEC All-Freshman Team and All-District VII by the USBWA. Joe set the school record by making 113 3-pointers – breaking Thurman’s previous mark of 102. Joe additionally set an SEC freshman record by making 3.32 3-pointers per game while becoming just the fourth freshman in SEC history to lead the league in 3-point field goal percentage. Joe tied the SEC freshman record for 3-pointers made in a season and ranks fourth in NCAA history for most 3-pointers made in a season by a freshman. Overall, Joe ranked second among all NCAA freshmen in 3-pointers made per game (3.32; 18th overall), 3-pointers made (113; 13th overall) and 3-point field goal percentage (36th overall; .414).
In 2017-18, Arkansas continued a staple of Anderson-coached teams as part of the “Fastest 40 Minutes in College Basketball” when the Razorbacks led the league in 3-point field goal percentage while ranking second in the league in fewest turnovers, scoring offense and assist-to-turnover ratio. Leading the way were senior guards Jaylen Barford and Daryl Macon, each of whom were named first team All-SEC and signed NBA contracts.
As a player for the Razorbacks, Thurman’s three years were some of the most decorated in program history, as he helped lead Arkansas to an 85-19 record over that span. The only player in Arkansas history to be named to the All-SEC first team three times, Thurman ranks 10th on Arkansas’ all-time scoring list with 1,650 points and ranks second on the career 3-point chart with 267. He was named All-America in 1994 and 1995 as the Razorbacks reached the NCAA Championship game in both seasons, winning the 1994 title.
Following his playing days with the Razorbacks, Thurman played 11 seasons of professional basketball overseas in Lebanon, Greece, Cyprus and Italy. His successful pro career came to a close after the 2006 season and he returned to the state to reside in Little Rock. There, he worked in the real estate field and, eventually, began working for Episcopal Collegiate School as Director of Community Relations, as well as being a teacher and coach.
Thurman received a bachelor’s degree from Philander Smith College in 2003 and his Masters in secondary education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2012.
He and his wife Regina have two children, Scotty Jr., and Romani Elise and one grandson, Isaiah Ashton.